4 of the best Windows 7 media PCs


All four PCs are more than powerful enough to function well as TV replacements, easily managing the job of displaying live high-definition television programmes or movies with no annoying jerkiness or jitter.

It helps that Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium is genuinely a massive improvement on Windows Vista in almost every way.

It is faster, much more secure and easier to use and, most important of all, considerably more stable than its predecessor. None of these machines is likely to crash in the middle of recording Doctor Who.

Keen prices

Both the MSI and Packard Bell machines are very similar and neither would look out of place on an office desk or in a bedroom or study. Each benefits from the fact that both have DVB-T receivers built in and decent Media Centercentric remote controls.

But we would recommend using a rooftop aerial with both for Freeview. At a shade under £600, MSI's Wind Top AE2220 PC is our budget recommendation for a keenly priced Windows 7 entertainment machine.

Although the oneTwo M is similarly priced, its lack of a high-definition screen (unless you're prepared to pay extra for the L version), decent peripherals and such bonuses as HDMI input, left it wanting.

It is, of course, difficult to compare desktop PCs with laptops, but we would certainly recommend the Toshiba Satellite P500-12D which – despite its form factor – serves well as a portable entertainment hub

Final verdict

The Asus EeeTop PC ET22 wins out in the end, being a beautifully designed machine that looks nothing like a work PC or a laptop. It fits well in any setting. And, most importantly, it looks and sounds superb. Despite not shipping with a TV tuner and remote control in the box, with a capable tuner added it's still the best all-round media PC here.

Adam Hartley